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Student News Site of Ruben S. Ayala High School

Bulldog Times

Ayala Drumline dominates at Monrovia and Temescal Canyon for SCPA

At+the+climax%2C+visual+ensemble+members+hover+over+the+battery%2C+embodying+the+nexus+between+the+visual+component+and+the+title+of+the+show%2C+As+Above%2C+So+Below.+The+story+is+told+through+the+music+and+the+visuals+compounded+to+create+a+complex+and+full-fledged+program.
Tina Wong
At the climax, visual ensemble members hover over the battery, embodying the nexus between the visual component and the title of the show, “As Above, So Below.” The story is told through the music and the visuals compounded to create a complex and full-fledged program.

The resounding waves of musical harmony pervade the gymnasium as the marching show performs with a prowess that exudes power and demands attention. With every choreographed formation and transition, the drumline is able to tell a story through their synchronized movements, each member perfectly in tune with one another. The story is one of triumph and victory over the man-made idols that humans create, and the evolution of humans becoming their idols in the end once they realize their own greatness.

In the marching show, the drumline uses props to accompany the music and bring the program to life. They competed with their props for the first time at their second Southern California Percussion Alliance (SCPA) competition at Monrovia High School on March 2. 

“The props stand as pedestals that we put our idols upon,” Bass Drum Section Leader Damian Lopez (11) said. “At the end of the show, what’s supposed to happen is we get to flip the props so that our idols are now replaced with us, because we realize that we are our own idols the entire time.”

With this being their second SCPA competition, they were able to perform without as much nerves or jitters and present their program with the utmost effort.

“I know that while there are some people who are scared, I know for me I do love to perform, so I do get excited to perform,” third vibraphonist, Mykayla DeArmas (11), said. 

The show starts off with the props lying down and the marching ensemble or “battery” on the props or on the floor. As the show progresses, they slowly rise and climb atop the props standing upright. Credit: Tina Wong

The drumline also debuted their concert show, “Blossoms In Bloom,” at Monrovia. The music in the show is from the movie “Spirited Away” wherein a young girl named Chihiro, along with her parents, comes across an abandoned amusement park. Upon entering the park, Chihiro watches in horror as her parents transform into giant pigs. Chihiro then meets Haku, who tells her that the park is a resort for supernatural creatures, and she must work at the park in order to free herself and her parents.

“In the beginning, it starts very melodically and soft and [then] it grows from that to very energetic,” said auxiliary percussionist Maksim Agars (9). “You have the snare drum and you have all these other instruments that are playing together in this more uptempo part in the middle. At the end of our show, it comes back to this energetic loudness to finish the show strongly.”

The drumline won first place in the concert division with scores of 41.50 in the music category and 43.40 in the artistry category, culminating to a total score of 84.10. They won second place in the marching division with a total score of 88.95 and placed second in all four scoring categories: music effect, visual effect, music, and visual. Chino Hills High School won first place with a score of 89.4 and beat Ayala in all scoring categories.

Although Ayala came in second at Monrovia, they managed to achieve the elusive first place at their third SCPA competition at Temescal Canyon High School on March 9. They scored 88.45 and received the highest marks in three out of the four categories. In the concert division, they won first place once again with scores of 43.60 in music and 43.90 in artistry for a total score of 86.50.

Despite their win at Temescal Canyon, there is always room for improvement and there are some aspects of the show that could be better. It is mostly about being in the right mindset to translate the countless hours put into rehearsal when it comes time to compete the very best they can.

“Before the show, we do warmups, and sometimes the mentality isn’t right,” said tenor drummer Daniel Osso (10). “That causes not as good of a performance for the actual show.”

On March 23 and 24, the drumline competed at the Winter Guard International (WGI) regional competition at California State University, Fullerton. This show was the first step to qualifying for the annual WGI world championships in which they are the reigning world champions. When the time comes for the drumline to show up with their best program, the results from their SCPA competitions provide promising insights for the victories that are in store for them.

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About the Contributor
Kaitlyn Luu, Staff Member
Kaitlyn Luu (10) is a second-year staff writer for the Bulldog Times and looks forward to further contributing to Ayala’s news publication. Kaitlyn decided to join the Bulldog Times to gain some experience in student journalism and improve her writing skills. She aims to gather various perspectives and outlooks from people through covering stories about her peers’ academic and personal lives. Kaitlyn is a third degree black belt in taekwondo and plays the guitar. In her leisure time, she enjoys reading, watching movies, listening to music, as well as other escapist outlets. Her sanctuary and favorite feature of campus is the library where she spends much of her time.
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